Spoiler: We prefer to stay home on Valentine’s Day, even before this pandemic hit – it’s funny, because last year we were gearing up for a fun night in, which before March of 2020 was a welcomed infrequent occurrence. I’m learning to love Valentine’s Day as I get older, because I used to absolutely despise this day. But now, the only bone I have to pick is that of the expectations of this one day to show someone how much you love them with a grandiose gesture or a commercialized gift (even if we love them). What happened to showing our love each and every day?
Back in 2018, I dedicated the entire month of February to sharing little pieces of love to B – whether it was a little note, a memory, a special card or a punny gift, and it was so much fun, but it was also tough! Why can’t we try to share a little piece of love, a smile, a compliment to the people in our world’s every single day? That’s why I’m excited to share my little challenge, but it’s going up post-Valentine’s Day because we need to share it beyond one day!
With that, I wish you all a sweet and simple Valentine’s Day. B and I will be creating our own little memories together, over indulging in delicious eats and yummy treats. We’ll be cozied up by the fire, sipping on some bubbles and watching basketball.
Each year, I fall a little more in love with Valentine’s Day. And this week leading up to the day has me wearing hearts, lots of pink and snacking on a bunch of sweets! I have been completely obsessed with getting ready for Valentine’s Day and beyond. I’ve been stocking up on heart and love themed accessories to look festive, and also share love with those who might see me (even if it’s just through a Zoom). Here are a few of the pieces I’ve grabbed and other ways I’ve been getting ready to celebrate heart day!
Heart Tee’s. I’ve been obsessed with finding fun and sweet heart-themed shirts to not know wear for Valentine’s Day but will also work all year-round. This navy with colored hearts tee is so sweet and fun from Loft – they also have a sweat suit in this same print! Shop a few more of my pieces below.
Gimme All The Sweets! Confession time: my sweet tooth has been a bit out of control lately. From snacking on festive M&M’s, to pre-ordering Valentine treats from our favorite KEC— so naturally I had to make some homemade cut out cookies because I bought new Valentine themed cut outs! Topped with my mom’s homemade frosting recipe – these are not only too cute but they taste ah-mah-zing!
Dressing The House With Pink & Red. Since we’re obviously staying in this Valentine’s Day, I made sure to dress our living room mantle and hearth with some dashes of red and pink! We spend most of our time in our living room, especially on the weekends and now it’s festive for the holiday.
After this Valentine’s Day holiday, I will definitely be needing to jump off the sweets train and jump back on the workout train (I’ve been so horrible!) But I’m excited to enjoy some extra special treats and a delicious dinner at home, while rocking a cute outfit and some fun accessories — I think I’ll be rocking the Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt and those oversized heart earrings. Putting on a real outfit will make it feel like we haven’t spent the last 41 consecutive days at home!
Planning to stay in this Valentine’s Day? We usually like to stay in for Valentine’s Day and grab or make a special dinner, some sweets and drinks for an ultimate date night at home. But, just in case you’re feeling a bit lost — I have some fun, creative and easy date night or date day ideas to help celebrate the holiday this year. Don’t worry they are simple, fun and can be customized to you and your boo!
Make It Festive. An easy way to feel festive and make your Valentine’s Day at home special is adding a little festive flair! Whether it’s cutting out paper hearts with construction paper and stringing them up for some garland, buying some flowers to have around the house or making this X’s & O’s painted table runner, by simply adding a bit of red and pink can help spark the mood for the holiday!
Make it A Crafting Afternoon. I snagged a few kids craft kits from Target by Spritz, that are now sold out – but Michael’s has some similar clay hearts that you can paint. Whether you paint them for each other as keepsakes to bring out each year, or paint to gift as a Valentine to family or friends – this is a fun, creative, and low key afternoon! These wooden love letters will be a fun DIY and keepsake to make, too.
Game Night. B & I love game night at home, it has become a quarantine go-to. We love to play Yahtzee, King In the Corners and Scrabble. Of course grabbing a few classic board games like Life, Clue, Sorry! or even Candy Land would be fun while bringing back some childhood memories! Put on some tunes, pour a drink or three and get some friendly competition going with your boo!
Walk & Sip. Bundle up, grab your masks and take a morning snowy stroll to grab some coffee to-go at your favorite local coffee shop! Maybe even take the long way home while you sip and enjoy the quiet of the morning – plus you’re helping support a local business. You could even plan for a boozy evening stroll if that is more your speed, with some spiked coco or cider!
Of course another easy way to celebrate at home is grabbing some dinner to-go from your favorite local spot. Planning on just making dessert at home can be another fun memory with your sig-o. I’ll be sharing an easy and delicious recipe for a cookie skillet that is oh so good and is sure to impress anyone! Finally, if you need some last minute gift ideas, here are 5 free Valentine gift ideas.
How’re you celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year?
So apparently I unknowingly have this every three year blog post going, that I’m excited to share again. And you may be saying to yourself, what are you talking about? Well, in order to share a little bit about me, the bee, to my new and returning readers, I am tackling ten questions, while including my answers from 2015 and 2018 (see, every three years!). It’s sort of funny to see how things change, or not — but I may be in need of a few refreshed questions, so you’ll have to leave your ideas in the comments below!
Ok, are you ready? Here we go!
1. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now. 2021: A house in Jackson Hole with a personal gym (see what I did there) 2018: A vacation or four… maybe a sports car. 2015: My own personal gym.
2. Spring vs. Fall? 2021: Fall baby. 2018: Still fall. 2015: Fall – clam bakes, sweaters, pumpkins, coffee, jeans, scarfs, cool runs… shall I continue?
3. What’s on your nightstand? 2021: Pretty much the same as 2018 — lamp, picture frame, phone charger, ring holder, coaster, medicine…. 2018: Lamp, ring holder, small vase with flowers, coaster & water glass 2015: Pictures of me and B and my glasses.
5. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be? 2021: I think I want to bring someone back from the dead, but I’m not sure who. TBD. 2018: This one is tough, maybe some Bravo reality stars? RHOBH or Vanderpump! 2015: Too many choices…. it’s a toss up between Derek Jeter and Katy Perry
6. Name one thing on your bucket list. 2021: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Jackson Hole 2018: Travel to Europe 2015: Sky dive with B
8. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to… 2021: Somewhere I wouldn’t think to travel that would totally blow me away like Bali. 2018: Lake Como & Greece 2015: Ireland & Germany
9. Backyard BBQ or Formal Dinner? 2021: A formal backyard BBQ! 2018: Same! But I do love a good meal out on the patio on a summer night. 2015: Formal dinner – I love getting dressed up, and sitting around the table sharing stories, good laughs and a bottle of wine.
10. What advice would you give your teen self? 2021: Be true to you, be bold, be brave, but also listen and learn with an open heart and open mind. 2018: Don’t let silly people affect you to the point of insecurities or anxiety – they do not define you, and there is a world of people out there that won’t tear you down. 2015: There is a much bigger world out there; explore it as much as possible, and even if you break away – there is still a bigger world beyond that.
Ok, that was still fun — but in all seriousness, I’m ready to shake up some questions & maybe even do another Q&A post in a couple months. What fun questions do you want me to answer? Comment below!
January’s latest obsessions are coming in hot to share a few things that I’ve been loving on! I’ve been waking up and falling asleep reading my latest book obsession — and I’ve been getting excited working on some smaller project spaces getting the house organized for the year. I also recently shared my go-to pieces for getting organized, that work in ANY space. We’ve been watching a lot of sports with the NBA officially back (woo!) and our teams being in the NFL Playoffs, we’ve been engulfed in all of it.
Currently Obsessing Over & Reading:Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer — Yup, I am definitely a Twilight fan, although I was late to the game and resisted at all costs when it first came about. I first watched the movies and then read the books (definitely the way to do it). This latest book is all from Edward’s perspective and I am eating up this love story all over again — and I love being taken into a bit of a fantasy world.
Now Wearing: Headbands & Bows – I’ve always loved accessories that are bold, colorful and slightly obnoxious, although they’re usually paired with something much simpler. And I’ve had a lot of fun lately with bold hair clips, knotted headbands, and cute statement earrings — plus they’re perfect for looking halfway decent on a Zoom call!
Getting Organized! My accessory closet was in need of some purging, clean-up and glam organization — I’ve had so much fun finding clear and acrylic pieces to help me organize this space while also displaying all those fun accessories for my eyes to see. A few of those finds are in this picture including the acrylic shelves, stackable jars, necklace wall rack and the four-drawer jewelry box. See the full reveal here!
Most importantly, on top of all of these latest obsessions – I’ve been obsessed with making lists and getting things crossed off. From scheduling appointments, taking care of my health, to getting projects complete inside the office and at home — it’s been refreshing to cross off those to-do’s, especially in these long, colder winter months — while also keeping myself accountable!
What have you been obsessing over lately? What has gotten you up and going each day this month of January?
Happy New Year! It’s that time again — that time to reset and refocus our energy, our priorities and look back at successes and even failures from the previous year, things we’ve learned about ourselves. And with that, it’s important to review your previous goals – and if you didn’t have any, you can only go up from here – so here is a quick update on how I did with my 2020 goals.
My 2020 Goals Successes: I paid off my credit card debt, before my 30th birthday — and even better, I’ve kept the credit card paid off. It’s so refreshing and freeing to have that under control. I also successfully completed one of my fitness goal of running 6-races, which proved more challenging because they all got delayed into Q4. We were also able to squeeze in one trip, which I will take for how 2020 went. And, I think that I fulfilled my goal of saying “No” which was also a bit easier, because you know, covid — and maybe one of the few things I’ll thank covid for.
Here are my goals for 2021:
Pay Off My Student Loans by December 2021. With the pandemic, student loans got a break with 0% interest among other things for most of the year — so I made sure to take advantage of that, while also paying more on my loans due to the money I’ve saved without having other expenses (car, gym, spa). With the help of my rain-man hubby, we’ve calculated for me to be on track and student debt free while I’m still 31! Being able to pay these off all by myself, while I’m still relatively young and 9-years post graduation is something I am truly proud of and fortunate to be able to do.
Monthly Volunteering. I unfortunately got out of dog walking volunteering, which I was doing almost weekly pre-covid. I then was trying to get a goal of at least monthly, which I was doing pretty well with, but the end of the year not so much. So my goal is to get back to that monthly volunteering for at least 2-hours, and then if things get better, I’ll start going more frequently. This will also help push me to do more “social” things without actually being social.
Good for the Soul. Focusing on things that are good for the soul and things I enjoy doing is going to continue to be a priority. Things like: Friends, travel, good food, bubbles, saying no, house projects, decorating, speaking my truth, reading, creating, dogs, sleeping in, and watching Bravo. Traveling is always a priority and on our to-do list (& oh so good for the soul), and we already have two trips outlined. This past year has also proven to enjoy the simpler things in life, like hanging out just B and I, playing games, listening to music and laughing the night away — hopefully we can just add a few more friends and family to that scenario.
Continue to Invest in Myself. This is both mentally and physically. Due to affect effects of covid, I’ve found that working out and staying healthy is going to be more of an effort, also sadly, because my former gym ended up closing last year due to financially hardships. So I’ve already started to purchase more at-home fitness equipment to help workouts become more attainable, without an excuse of not having equipment. Mentally, I’ve been needing to find someone to talk too since the spring. Again, I’ve made excuses not being able to find anyone that feels right — but I need to get it started. I spoke to someone in college and it helped immensely.
As you may have noticed, a lot of these goals, seem to be getting back to a normal life and piecing together the after effects from the pandemic (which BTW is still happening). And one of those biggies will be my fitness goals. I’ll be sharing those more specific goals on my upcoming Fitness Friday post — I think it’s important if you want your health and fitness to be a priority and is a personal goal, to make specific goals attainable and specific to fitness without just saying; “stay in shape” or “work out.” And I’ll be sharing my fitness goal failures too.
I also recently did one of those word scrambles, where you look at a bunch of letters and pull out the first four words you see. My four words were: Health, Family, Love and Strength. I think these are good mantra words to hold onto and focus for my new year — even if it’s a silly little internet thing.
What’re your goals? Share one or one of your focus words in the comments below!
Yes, I dare — and in an effort to being transparent and true, I’m going to focus more on the positive things of 2020, and only a little bit of the negative – because we all know there was a lot of negative. A lot of struggles, a lot of tears, a lot of everything. Before I write this year’s recap, I always like to look back at last year’s recap and I giggled when I read the end of my 2019 recap, it ended with:
“2020 is going to be a big year. We have a lot of big family milestones and a lot of trips brewing in the planning stages. So ready or not, here we come 2020!”
Bee’s 2019 Recap
LOL. It was a big year, a big year with a lot of milestones that sort of got celebrated, lots of changed and cancelled plans, and lots of learning how to deal with the “new normal.” And ironically, the world seemed to end on my 30th birthday, March 16th.
Our big rose of the year was definitely our Jackson Hole trip, which was not decided upon lightly, but also was so beyond needed for our mental health and sanity. It was such a light in this dark and changing year. B and I also celebrated three years married, and conquered a few fun and essential house projects in our extended time at home.
We cherished the nights, days and time we got to spend with friends and family — especially when we could be outside in the sunshine and warmth. We attended a couple virtual weddings, one backyard wedding, two virtual graduations, took a mini road trip in an RV, hosted our first virtual Christmas party (it was so fun!), fell in love with drive-up at Target, and used a ton of hand sanitizer.
Now for some tougher real talk. I’ve always dealt with some extent of anxiety and social anxiety — but this year with COVID, the anxiety has reached a new level. In addition to anxiety of being around people, going out in public and doing things we never thought twice about a year ago, but 90% of the days since March 16th, have started and filled with me thinking I’m sick. A sneeze, a little tickle, a cough, getting warm or feeling cold… constant worry and fear that I’m sick (it’s still happening). On top of that, navigating what everyone is ok with, or not ok with has been another layer of that stress — another thing to explain, cope with, or fight through — which just adds to the anxiety, the chest pains, the overwhelming feeling to just cry.
We’ve been fortunate to *knocks on wood* stay healthy, find joys in the little things, play lots of Yahtzee, and still be able to work remotely through all of this. And now in all honesty, I’m just glad to see the end of 2020 and am cautiously optimistic about the New Year.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year? This holiday season was a glimmer of hope all of us were looking forward too, even more so than previous years. We were watching Christmas movies before Halloween, and we were gearing up for the year to end on a happy, light and familiar note.
The optimism this year has been strong while also fading fast — and I was hoping the optimism during this holiday season would come back strong, but I can’t say that it is. The pressures of family, the expectations, the let downs from family and the overall crave for a little bit of normal from all of us — is different depending on who you ask. This whole year we have all scarified a lot, whether it’s been emotionally, physically, financially, mentally — but that some how gets forgotten with those expectations and pressures. No one can win this year, and no one has.
With all of that, the picture above of B and I was from one of those strong moments of optimism, of hope, of happiness and a tiny bit of forgetting. We were trying to snap a selfie, surrounded in the snow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — and it was so bright! Neither of us had sunglasses, and we laughed as we struggled to keep our eyes open, and just embraced the moment, which became a series of shots, that we used for our Christmas cards this year. That is a feeling, I’m going to try and hold on to as we get through the rest of this year and these next few days.
So without being too much of a downer, I hope for a few moments, hours or even a few days — we can hold on to a moment we’ve had this year of happiness, hope, and pure optimism. And that we can embrace whatever kind of things we’re faced with this holiday season, even if we don’t like it 😬 (& yes, that may or may not be specifically for me).
It’s the eve of Thanksgiving, and I know this year looks different for many of us… no family gatherings, no road trips to visit extended family, no house hopping from one turkey dinner to the next. And it’s especially easy in the solitude, to be reminded of the things we should be doing — the things we aren’t doing. But I’m here to say, we can’t focus on that!
Instead we need to hug the people we can. And count our blessings, big or small this year — be thankful for our health, and the health of our friends and family. A super easy way to do this, is take out a piece of paper and write (or type) them down.
Here are a few things B and I are thankful for this year:
Time we’ve been able to spend with family, specifically pool days & July 4th
Having jobs and ones that we are able to work from home
Ok, your turn! Even just taking a moment before dinner, and sharing a few things you’re especially thankful for, or telling someone via the phone or text this year — share a little extra gratitude and soak in the good that we’ve been able to find this year ♥️.